Department recognizes its top students

The JMC department recognized a number of outstanding students at its spring honors banquet. The honorees included, from left: Tori Wood, outstanding senior in public relations and Kappa Tau Alpha top scholar; Kiaya Young, outstanding graduate student; Austin Gordon, outstanding senior in graphic communications media; interim chair Dr. Debbie Owens; Tyler Barker, outstanding senior in TV production; Ashley Traylor, Barbara Cochran Breazeale Fellow; and Dacia Brown, outstanding senior in journalism.

The Department of Journalism and Mass Communications recognized its outstanding students at the annual spring banquet April 24.

Those receiving recognition as the top senior in their major were: Amy Evans, Austin Gordon, Dacia Brown, Tori Wood, Tyler Barker and Kiaya Young.

Evans was named the Robert J. Norsworthy Outstanding Senior in Advertising. She was a Graphic Communications Media minor from Louisville, Ky. She sold ads for Gateway Magazine, interned at Scoppechio Advertising. She was a member of Ads Club and participated in intramural sports.

Gordon was honored as the Outstanding Senior in Graphic Communications Media. He was a marketing minor from Benton, Ky. He served as the production manager and online editor for The Murray State News and Gateway Magazine. He had an intern and front-end web developer at Designory.

Gordon was president and public relations director for the Ads Club, a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and treasurer of the Gamma Epsilon Tao honor society. He was director of multimedia for Student Government Association and vice president of volunteering for Omicron Delta Kappa.

His work was recognized by the Kentucky Press Association Advertising Awards with second place best graphic, third place best graphic, second place creative use of the newspaper/newspaper promotion, certificate of merit for furniture ads, certificate of merit for holiday greeting ads and general/miscellaneous. He received awards for his work with PRSSA and Ads Club.

Brown was recognized as the Outstanding Senior in Journalism. She was a sports communication minor from Smyrna, Tenn. She worked for WMC Action News 5. She is on the University’s volleyball team. She has served as a camp counselor.

Wood received the Outstanding Senior in Public Relations award. She was also a graphic communications media major and a business administration minor from Symsonia, Ky. She worked as a designer for The Murray State News. She was an intern for the Office of Branding, Marketing and Communications, served on the MSU Social Media Team and worked with the Racer Relations firm. Her off-campus internships included VUE Magazine and Social Sharkz.

Wood was the president of Student Government Association, a counselor for Summer Orientation, and a student worker in the Office of Recruitment. She was a member of Panhellenic Council, Alpha Sigma Alpha and Student Ambassadors. She was crowned Miss Murray State University in 2017.

Barker was named the Outstanding Senior in Television Production. He was a creative writing minor from Louisville, Ky.

He was a member of the TV Club. He worked at Winslow Dining Hall, Jeff Robards Construction Co. and Walmart.

Young was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Student. She received the outstanding senior in public relations award in 2015.

She participated in the Study Abroad program at the Universität Regensburg in Regensburg, Germany, in 2017. She has served as a marketing intern at Qdoba Mexican Eats, Murray, president of WKRR Junior League, Paducah, Ky., and an intern at the Four Rivers Carson Center, Paducah, Ky.

Young presented papers at the Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas; Ohio Valley Conference, Murray; AEJMC Conference, Chicago; and at Murray State’s Scholars Week.

Eight students were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honorary journalism fraternity. They were Olivia Bailey, Tyler Barker, Bailey Bohannon, Tyler Covington, Kayla Speis, Quinnen Taylor, Jaclyn Whoberry, and Tori Wood. The Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar recipient was Tori Wood.